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Couple Allegedly Stole $5M to Prep for 'Fall of US Government'

Florida pair face up to 30 years in prison if convicted
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2019 9:40 AM CST
Side-by-side photos show Richard Camp, left, and Gretchen Camp.   (State Attorney's Office)

(Newser) – A Florida couple is accused of stealing $5 million allegedly used to prepare "for the fall of the US government." An arrest warrant states Gretchen Camp of Jacksonville admitted to stealing from Swisher International, where she worked as a tax manager, partly because her unemployed husband "wanted more than she could afford to buy" on her $80,000 salary, reports News4Jax. The 36-year-old—arrested in December, per ABC News—allegedly penned and paid bogus invoices totaling $4 million to a Georgia-based company owned by a friend beginning in late 2017. Per First Coast News, investigators say the funds were then transferred to 35-year-old Richard Camp, allowing him to purchase a 460-acre Georgia farm surrounded by a 6-foot-high chain-link fence, on which a cabin was built.

The couple is also alleged to have bought a $500,000 condo in Fernandina Beach; nine vehicles, including classic cars; "a significant number of firearms and ammunition"; and "significant sums" of gold and silver. Richard Camp declined to explain his so-called preparations Tuesday in Duval County Court, per News4Jax. He and his wife pleaded not guilty to fraud, grand theft and money laundering charges, which could bring up to 30 years in prison. They're free on $250,000 bond, though a judge said it could be revoked if bond money was found to come as a result of the alleged theft. It allegedly continued even after Gretchen Camp's initial arrest. Per First Coast News, she's accused of altering banking details so that a $1.1 million refund issued to Swisher arrived in her husband's account. (A font helped expose another alleged fraud.)

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